New York City is expected to announce that migrant families with children must leave their assigned homeless shelters after 60 days and reapply for shelter — a move that is likely to disrupt the lives of the youngest shelter residents.
The news was first reported by the Daily News last Friday and confirmed by two people briefed on the City Hall decision, but not authorized to publicly speak on the matter.
If implemented, the plan would mark the Adams administration’s most severe attempt to date to reduce services for the more than 60,000 migrants currently in the city’s shelter system.
The mayor’s office would neither confirm nor deny the shelter shift.
“If we’re changing policy, we’ll announce it,” said Charles Lutvak, a spokesperson for Adams.
One person familiar with the plan told Gothamist that the announcement could come as early as this week.
The Legal Aid Society and the Coalition for the Homeless issued a statement condemning such a policy.
“This plan will disrupt the lives of homeless students and create chaos for their schools, as parents are forced to choose between re-enrolling or spending the day traveling across the city to their current school,” said Redmond Haskins, a spokesperson for the two groups.
The city has a litany of rules for how it manages homeless shelter standards, ranging from the guarantee of clean linens and properly spaced beds, to how often residents are required to check in with a case manager. No limits exist for how long homeless families can stay in the city’s main shelter system.
But the Adams administration has suspended many of those rules for migrants living in emergency shelters and hotels. Migrants undergo a separate check-in process to apply for shelter and must check in at the Roosevelt Hotel.
Adult migrants are currently forced to leave the shelter system after 30 days. Those without a place to go have been lining up at the Roosevelt Hotel to reapply for shelter and endure long wait times. City officials say a surge in new arrivals — totaling as many as 600 in a day — has exacerbated the long lines.
“The reality is people go into shelter because they don’t have homes, and migrant families are homeless families and refugee families are homeless families,” said Craig Hughes, a social worker with Mobilization for Justice.
“Adding arbitrary 60-day time limits for when people are supposed to find a home in the richest city in the world is absurd and it’s the kind of weaponization of bureaucracy against very poor people that none of us should accept,” Hughes added.
More than 160 sites house about 13,500 migrant families with children as of September, according to city data. That’s about 47,800 people potentially subject to the new limits.
It’s unclear how city school officials will manage the 60-day limit on shelter stays. The Department of Education deferred to City Hall for comment.
“This will result in families and children ending up on the street in the middle of winter, and school attendance being interrupted,” said Murad Awawdeh, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition. “Kicking families and children out of shelters and onto the streets is a new low, even for the Adams administration.”
In an email to Gothamist, City Councilmember Diana Ayala said she had not received confirmation from the administration regarding the policy change.
“Which if true, is alarming because of the Council’s oversight responsibilities,” she said in an email.
Adams first announced limits on shelter stays for adult migrants in July. At the time, city officials said the move was designed to make room for families and that migrants would receive increased assistance in finding new places to stay.
City officials recently said between 1,500 to 2,000 migrants were leaving the shelter system each week after individuals began reaching their shelter stay limits.
The Department of Social Services did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Culled from the Gothamist NYC. Click here for the link to the full story NYC to order migrant families with children to leave shelters after 60 days, sources say – Gothamist